Further evidence for the theory of relativity: astronomers photograph the black hole

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So far, only the calculations serve as proof of black holes in the universe. Now astronomers present the first shot of the previously invisible object, thus demonstrating Einstein's theory of relativity.

By Jan-Claudius Hanika, BR

At the same time in six places around the world, astronomers have made a single shot of a black hole. Researchers in the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project have targeted two cosmic objects for the image.

One of the objects is Sagittarius A *, a huge black hole that is believed to be in the center of the Milky Way. It has four million solar masses and is about 26,000 light years from Earth.

View in the center of the Milky Way

With a conventional telescope, Sagittarius A * cannot be detected. Visible light must travel halfway across the Milky Way until it reaches the earth. On the road, it is so strongly dampened by the cosmic dust that even on the images of the Hubble Space Telescope nothing is recognizable. Astronomers then look at radio telescopes in the center of the Milky Way.

To improve the quality of the image, the researchers combined radio telescopes in Hawaii, Arizona, Spain, Mexico, Chile and the South Pole into a worldwide network. Also involved in the project is the European Southern Observatory ESO, based in Garching, near Munich.

Another object that astronomers studied is the lies in the center of the giant galaxy M87 – it is said to be a black hole that has 1500 times the mass of Sagittarius A *. Although it is about 55 million light years from Earth, its gigantic size makes it a relatively good object of observation.


Further proof of the theory of relativity

Black holes are enigmatic objects in the cosmos. They have no extension, but they are still an immense mass, sometimes millions or billions of solar masses. Albert Einstein calculated invisible objects over a hundred years ago in his theory of general relativity. A direct hit was previously impossible, because black holes have an equally large weight due to their enormous mass. They swallow everything that comes close, even the light.

However, they warm up the matter around them and make them shine. Therefore, a shot of a black hole shows a shadow in a bright environment. The shadow is not the black hole itself, but "only" its event horizon. It surrounds the black hole and is the limit behind which everything disappears forever.

Gravitation absorbs matter

A black hole absorbs matter with its gravity, so it is surrounded by a ring of gas and dust, just like Saturn's rings. In addition, the light in its vicinity also bends. The dust around the black hole therefore looks like a deformed hat.

The inclusion of the event horizon is considered a scientific sensation and is further proof that black holes do exist and Einstein's theory of relativity is valid.

MDR news reported on this topic on 10 April 2019 at 05.23am.

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